Briefly put, authenticity makes it more interesting! : A study of the role of authentic written communication

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för kultur, språk och medier (KSM)

Abstract: Currently, too many pupils complete meaningless one-way writing tasks, which only their teachers receive, which makes increasing authenticity in the language contexts crucial for learners. The purpose of this study is to investigate: the experiences and opinions of two ESL 7-9 teachers in two schools in southern Sweden regarding their practices of authenticity in learning task instructions, the views of their pupils towards these writing tasks, and the benefits and challenges of integrating an authentic writing task. The Swedish steering documents emphasize that pupils should confidently adapt their languages to various purposes and learn how English is used across cultures and settings; however, authenticity does not feature heavily in the steering documents. This study used a Passion Project that incorporated explicit instructions, a recursive writing process, and a genre-based process for writing to an authentic audience. Against that background, this study seeks to answer the research questions by analyzing two teachers’ experiences and opinions, the pupils’ views toward authenticity in writing tasks, and the possible benefits and challenges. In order to collect empirical data, a mixed methodology method was applied, which included questionnaires and interviews with teachers and pupils. The results indicate that although the authentic audience is a new concept to the L2 learners, introducing it explicitly and providing examples help to reduce pupils’ nervousness. Furthermore, introducing the pupils to a new concept piques their interests and teaches them new ways to write. Therefore, writing strategies that incorporate an authentic audience are important. Despite the change from traditional to modern instructions, the pupils’ attitudes were highly favorable. Last but not least, the benefits are that pupils can relate what they are learning in the classroom to the outside world. However, there are challenges as not all pupils feel comfortable sharing something they write with others, and teachers do not always have the time to plan, organize, and execute tasks that include authentic audiences.

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)